To Kelly, it seemed like the fifteenth time that day that her boss was in crisis.
Her name is Joan, but we called her The Stresscalator, Kelly told us. She was always changing things at the last minute, totally disorganized, and had no plan for anything. And everything was equally important and always a priority. Success? “I'll know it when I see it.” That's what she told us!
Joan had terrific ideas but little ability to apply them effectively at work. In her defense, the problem partly came from above. Her boss, a sink-or-swim sort of manager, gave Joan no direction or training. So, Joan committed a common mistake made by the anxious and unprepared leader: She avoided leaning on her boss and peers for support and micromanaged her team instead. And if this wasn't bad enough, Joan's worst habits magnified exponentially when she was under pressure.
This particular crisis flared over preparation for an internal presentation Joan would be giving to her manager and his peers regarding potential new lines of business. It was clearly a big deal. But Joan waited until a few days before the presentation to ask her team to assemble the slide show. Then, the day before the big meeting, The Stresscalator swooped in and took over. She started changing the slides, putting words and concepts ...